HBCUs Announce the Appointments of Five African American Administrators

John E. Smith, Jr. was appointed chief of staff at St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Dr. Smith previously served as the associate dean of graduate education and director of graduate programs at Clark Atlanta University.

Dr. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and supervision and a doctorate in professional leadership from the University of Houston. He also earned a master’s degree in human services from Springfield College in Massachusetts.

Kenyatta Shamburger has been promoted to senior vice president and chief operating officer at Talladega College in Alabama. Dr. Shamburger has been serving as vice president and chief of staff. In this new role, he will maintain his chief of staff duties as well as continue to serve as liaison and administrative support lead to the board of trustees. Dr. Shamburger came to Talladega College after having served as chief of staff at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas. Earlier, he was assistant dean of students and director of multicultural student affairs at Iowa State University.

A graduate of Northeastern University in Boston, Dr. Shamburger holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Iowa State University.

Valerie Melton is the new vice president for university advancement at Albany State University in Georgia. She also serves as the executive director of the ASU Foundation. She previously served as vice president for advancement at four other universities.

Melton holds a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina A&T State University and a master of public administration degree from Delaware State University, where she is working on a doctorate in higher education administration.

Janet Barnes is the new chair of the Grambling State University Foundation in Louisiana. She is the owner of Pedi-pop Pediatrics, which has been providing healthcare to the children of metropolitan New Orleans for more than 40 years.

A graduate of Grambling State University with a degree in chemistry, Dr. Barnes received her medical degree and pediatric training at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans. She also holds an executive MBA from the University of New Orleans.

Brian Benn is the new vice president and chief information officer at Clark Atlanta University. He has been serving as chief information officer and senior vice president for Atlanta Housing. Benn began his career at NASA.

Benn studied computer science and mathematics at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. He earned an MBA from Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi.

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